Texas A&M has had very solid success since joining the SEC, the toughest conference in college football. But one person believes the Aggies would be better off if they were still in the Big 12.
Brian Davis, a Texas Longhorns beat reporter for the Austin American Statesman, suggested on The Paul Finebaum Show that Texas A&M would be a stronger program had it never left.
"If Texas A&M stayed in the Big 12 they would be more competitive & maybe would have even won a conference title by now" – @BDavisAAS
— Paul Finebaum (@finebaum) May 9, 2016
This might be true, but that’s not to say Texas A&M has struggled since joining the SEC in 2012. The Aggies went 36-16 in their first four seasons in the SEC with three bowl victories and an incredible 11-win campaign during their first year in the conference. Granted, the Aggies are 17-15 in league games in that four-year span and have gone 16-10 the past two seasons overall, not to mention the recent problems they’ve had in retaining quarterbacks. But Texas A&M’s new league address has helped in recruiting.
Kevin Sumlin reeled in three consecutive top 12 recruiting classes from 2013-15 and the 2016 recruiting class also cracked the top 20 despite a difficult season.
Sumlin has a ton of work cut out for him, however. His seat may be warming up after the Aggies dropped five of its final eight games after a 5-0 start last season. The departures of quarterbacks Kyle Allen, Kyler Murray and now five-star recruit Tate Martell are big blemishes on Sumlin’s tenure and the search for a viable, long-term solution at the position beyond senior transfer Trevor Knight could dictate Sumlin’s future.
A fan base that witnessed the glorious Johnny Manziel era is clamoring for greatness in arguably the most daunting division in the nation. A program that was generally irrelevant in the years prior to the move is now expected to compete with elite programs on a yearly basis, and for the most part has done so.
It hasn’t been perfect in College Station, Texas. But it’s hard to believe the program has any regrets about joining the SEC.